The Monday night Film Noir series returns the Parkway Theater with five must-sees (and must-see again!) Mark you calendars for the next five Mondays! All films start at 7:30 and cost a not-so-cruel, but very cool $5.
Double Indemnity (1944) directed by Billy Wilder
"Directed by Billy Wilder and adapted from a James M. Cain novel by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, Double Indemnity represents the high-water mark of 1940s film noir urban crime dramas in which a greedy, weak man is seduced and trapped by a cold, evil woman amidst the dark shadows and Expressionist lighting of modern cities. Movie veterans Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson give some of their best performances, and Wilder's cynical sensibility finds a perfect match in the story's unsentimental perspective, heightened by John Seitz's hard-edged cinematography. Double Indemnity ranks with the classics of mainstream Hollywood movie-making."
The Lady From Shanghai (1947) directed by Orson Welles
"The Lady From Shanghai, a complex, involving puzzle-within-a-puzzle mystery story, is a showcase for Orson Welles, showing his singular talents and sensibilities as few other films have. Orson Welles, who produced, directed, wrote and starred in the film, is sometimes self-indulgent in his use of visual tricks and techniques, which at times sacrifice plot for visual brilliance, but he pulls it together in the end to produce a stunning, difficult film. Rita Hayworth gives one of her best performances as the deceptive, seductive temptress, hard-edged and cynical. The film confounds, unsettles and disorients the viewer, very much as Welles intended to do. While not an easy film, it is well worth the attention required to follow it, and Welles offers no easy solutions or any false happy endings to his tour-de-force mystery."
Underworld USA (1961) directed by Sam Fuller
"Cliff Robertson plays Tolly Devlin, an embittered ex-convict who has spent a lifetime tracking down the men who murdered his father. Desirous of handling matters on his own, Devlin pretends to be loyal to both the Mob and the Government, playing one against the other in hopes of flushing out the killers. He learns that the three surviving assassins are employed by a supposedly charitable "cover" operation known as National Projects. To get what he wants, Devlin ingratiates himself with mob boss (and outwardly solid citizen) Conners (Robert Emhardt). What Robertson didn't count on was falling in love with "Cuddles" (Dolores Dorn), which leads to his own downfall -- but not before justice is served. Producer/director/writer Fuller based Underworld USA on a series of 'exposé' articles in The Saturday Evening Post; the film's release fortuitously occurred shortly after that infamous mob convention in Appalachin, New York."
Our Man in Havana (1959) directed by Carol Reed
"Graham Greene wrote this witty comedy inspired by Cold War paranoia. Jim Wormald (Alec Guiness) is an Englishman selling vacuum cleaners in Cuba on the cusp of the revolution. Hawthorne (Noel Coward), a British intelligence agent, is looking for information on Cuban affairs and recruits Jim to act as a spy. Jim has no experience in espionage and no useful knowledge to pass along, but Hawthorne is willing to pay for his services, and since Jim's daughter Milly (Jo Morrow) has expensive tastes, he can use the money. To keep Hawthorne happy (and his paychecks coming in), he turns in reports on the Cuban revolution that are copied from public documents, 'hires' additional agents who don't exist, and presents blueprints of secret weapons that are actually schematics of his carpet sweepers. However, Hawthorne and associate 'C' (Ralph Richardson) think that Jim is doing splendid work and encourage him to continue; meanwhile, Capt. Segura (Ernie Kovacs), the elegantly corrupt chief of police, has been fooled by Jim's charade into believing he's a real spy--and has also become attracted to Milly. Our Man in Havana also features Burl Ives and Maureen O'Hara in supporting roles."
Night and the City (1950) directed by Jules Dassin
"Two-bit hustler Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) aches for a life of ease and plenty. Trailed by an inglorious history of go-nowhere schemes, he stumbles upon a chance of a lifetime in the form of legendary wrestler Gregorius the Great (Stanislaus Zbyszko). But there is no easy money in this underworld of shifting alliances, bottomless graft, and pummeled flesh––and Fabian soon learns the horrible price of his ambition. Luminously shot in the streets of London, Jules Dassin’s Night and the City is film noir of the first order and one of the director’s crowning achievements."
The Parkway is located at 4814 Chicago Avenue S.
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